- An office for the Spanish-speaking was established in 1945 in San Antonio, Texas, under the auspices of the National Catholic Welfare Council (NCWC).
- In 1969, the Division for the Spanish Speaking was established under the auspices of the NCWC Department of Social Development, in Washington, DC.
- In 1974, the division was elevated to Secretariat under the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference..
- The Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs has held three national Encuentros (gatherings that convoke pastoral leaders ministering among Hispanic Catholics in the United States) in the past twenty-five years.
I Encuentro Nacional Hispano de Pastoral, June 19-22, 1972, Trinity College, Washington, DC
II Encuentro Nacional Hispano de Pastoral, August 18-21, 1977, Trinity College, Washington, DC
III Encuentro Nacional Hispano de Pastoral, August 15-18, 1985, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
A fourth encuentro called Encuentro 2000, was held July 6-9, 2000 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in Los Angeles, California.